Ninian & Lester was founded by Vernon Schroder in 1936 when he established a small ladies underwear factory in Johannesburg. In 1951, the South African franchise for Jockey was awarded to Ninian & Lester and two years later, the first Jockey range was launched in South Africa. As one of the largest manufacturers of underwear in South Africa, we continuously strive to innovate and aspire to remain the brand people think of for quality and style, but never forgetting our purpose, to satisfy the human need for comfort. Jockey can be found in over 120 countries around the world. In Southern Africa, Jockey is widely available in 5 concept stores, major chain stores and various independent stores.
In 1876, Samuel Thrall Cooper founded S.T. Cooper & Sons, the predecessor of Jockey International, Inc. Samuel Cooper started his hosiery business in St. Joseph, Michigan to help lumberjacks who were suffering from their poor quality socks…laying Jockey’s foundation for “Satisfying the Human Need for Comfort.”
By 1878, S.T. Cooper & Sons was producing nearly 2,500 pairs of seamless stockings each day. Over the next 25 years, Cooper’s sons (Charles, Henry and Willis) became skilled in the business. In 1897, they introduced the Black Cat brand of hosiery for men, women & children, and in 1898, the brothers moved the company into an ambitious new direction… Men’s Underwear.
Today, Jockey is a leading manufacturer and marketer of comfort apparel products sold in major department and specialty stores across the country.